Nestled between the Blue Ridge and Great Smoky Mountains—and with spectacular views of both—Asheville celebrates its bohemian spirit and artsy roots year-round, with events, festivals and good times that rank second (just behind Honolulu) for Programming in the country.
Dig down into the subcategories and this mountain gem boasts better-performing Nightlife (#1) and Shopping (#1) than the Hawaiian capital.
The #1 city for Nightlife is also a launching pad for musicians, offering what artists of all ages crave in a city: affordability, local beer and a lively after-hours scene.
“We believe that music attracts visitors—and can attract more visitors—and enrich their experiences here,” says Stephanie Brown, president & CEO of Asheville CVB.
Live music born of the region’s bluegrass roots harmonizes with new talent and innovative sounds to the tune of $383 million in the region’s tourism economy, according to the Economic Development Coalition.
Asheville continues its ascent in the Museum category with a #2 finish, behind only Charleston. Case in point, the recent reopening of Asheville Art Museum features education facilities, an art library, a lecture and performance space, a new ArtPLAYce for families and children and the addition of a rooftop sculpture terrace and café.